The Language and Poetry of Flowers

Once upon a time, each flower held a very specific symbolical meaning. You can read about them in this book.

So be very careful next time you commission a bouquet for someone. You wouldn't want to include any white roses still in bud, lest you seem "ignorant of love."

     Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 25, 2021
     Category: Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages | Nature | Books | Nineteenth Century | Love & Romance

Lets go Brandomly down the rabbit hole of code words for the censors.
Posted by John on 10/25/21 at 11:21 AM
See if I got this right: Hemlock is "You will cause my death," but if you 'incline it to the left,' it changes to "I will cause your death" (which makes sense if you're giving someone hemlock)? Is that my left or your left?

I once went down the rabbit hole of Victorian codes/symbolism -- a woman clenching her right glove in her left hand has a far different meaning than if both gloves are twisted together and she's holding the fingers with her left hand and the bases with her right . . . and women spoke volumes with how they held their fan, their jewelry (not only the makeup of the piece itself but where they wore it (silver and pearl brooch even with the breasts was hot, hot, hot!)), tilt of the hat, etc. etc. etc.. Basically, women were walking billboards of their feeling/beliefs/inclinations, to be read only by those of the same social class.

Posted by Phideaux on 10/25/21 at 05:20 PM
Phideaux, that sounds like the Victorian equivalent of today's graphic t-shirts.
Posted by ges on 10/25/21 at 06:45 PM
I can't wait to see the Deep Space Nine episode where Quark, or another Ferengi, learns about this custom and gives a cabbage. Maybe with bryony and buttercups?
Posted by Yudith on 10/31/21 at 05:52 AM
@Yudith -- I imagine this is the type of information which should be in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" or the Cliff's Notes of "How to Win Friends and Influence People in Space."

It dawns on me this type of guide would have been invaluable in any number of sf/f settings. What if Mal (Firefly (2002)) had known that letting a woman put a wreath on his head, drinking the wine she offered, and then dancing with her was an official wedding ceremony on that planet? It would have saved him a lot of grief, but then we wouldn't have the best-ever episode of any sf series ('Our Mrs. Reynolds' with Christina Hendricks).
Posted by Phideaux on 10/31/21 at 12:21 PM
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